Chapters 14–16

Summary: Chapter 14

Katherine and Erica make plans to see a special screening of a Robert Redford movie in New York City. At home, Katherine receives a secret package from her grandmother with helpful information from Planned Parenthood about safe sex and not getting pregnant. The next day at school, Katherine calls the Planned Parenthood in the city to make an appointment for birth control. After attending the Robert Redford movie, Katherine meets her grandparents for lunch, where they toast to love. 

Summary: Chapter 15

Katherine goes to her appointment at Planned Parenthood, where after answering questions and going through a pelvic exam, she gets the pill. When she gets home, she learns that Michael has the flu.

Summary: Chapter 16

Two days later, Katherine also comes down with the flu, and Michael visits her. On her birthday the following Friday, Michael takes Katherine to a play and dinner. He gives her a sliver necklace engraved with her name on the front and Forever, Michael on the back. Katherine then shows Michael her birth control pills. The next night, Michael suggests they get together at his house because his parents will be out. Katherine agrees but feels strange about having sex there. 

In Michael’s bedroom, Katherine decides which of his aftershaves she likes best and asks if he ever puts some on his testicles. He then takes off his pants and invites her to put some on him, which gives Katherine an opportunity to really see his genitals. Instead of putting on the aftershave, the two make love on the bathroom floor. Once again, Michael orgasms before Katherine can climax. But after a nap in bed, they have sex again, and both achieve sexual satisfaction. They then take a shower together and go out for hamburgers. Katherine expresses a desire to meet Michael’s parents. She also wants to have sex again, but Michael feels too tired.

Analysis: Chapters 14–16

In these chapters, Katherine illustrates maturity by taking care of the practical responsibilities that come with deciding to be sexually active. While Katherine may allow herself to ignore some truths about young relationships, her family has done an excellent job of opening her eyes to potentially negative physical consequences and the best methods for avoiding them. Katherine listens closely to her grandmother’s advice, suggesting that she trusts her judgment. She’s invigorated by the sense of control she develops as she becomes more knowledgeable about sexual health. These practical responsibilities also come with logistical duties, such as taking a trip to New York, answering a series of intimate questions with a stranger, and obtaining birth control, all of which further emphasize that sex is not just about passion and romance. Performing these new responsibilities not only prepares Katherine for the physical act of sex but also provides her with information and time to mentally evaluate her choice in the light of day as opposed to in the heat of the moment.

In Chapter 16, the locket Michael gifts Katherine serves as a symbol of their relationship. Engraved with both Michael and Katherine’s names and the word forever, the locket is a physical symbol of the eternal love Michael and Katherine have promised each other. Katherine cherishes the locket, and at first, she finds it special and irreplaceable. She is moved to tears by the gift of the locket, which demonstrates how deeply she values both the gift and Michael at the moment. However, when Theo uses the locket to successfully flirt with Katherine, she begins to see the locket as well as her promise to love Michael forever as childish and unrealistic. When Katherine attempts to give the locket back, it’s as though she is attempting to give Michael back his love, to erase it. He refuses. Their lives won’t just go back to the way they were before as if nothing happened. Like the locket, the love of the relationship still exists even if neither teenager knows what to do with it.